BREAKING: Cougs land Cali receiver

SIGNING DAY IS tomorrow but that doesn't mean there's been a halt on verbal commitments coming in the door at Washington State. Following an official to the Palouse this past weekend, the Cougars have landed their 24th known verbal commitment in the 2008 recruiting class, a versatile wide receiver out of California whose parents are both Wazzu alums.

There were conversations while he was on his official visit to WSU about Michael Vandenkolk (6-0, 180, 4.48) walking on. But Vandenkolk said just a few moments ago that he and coach Paul Wulff talked on the phone this afternoon, and a scholarship offer was made.

"I just fell in love with Washington State," said Vandenkolk. "I just knew as soon as he said the words that I was going to commit...He asked, 'So you're a Cougar' and I said 'Yes, all the way.'"

He's not unfamiliar with the area. Both parents are Washington State alums and lived in the Evergreen State before moving to Europe and then eventually Carlsbad.

At Carlsbad High this past season, Vandenkolk had 33 receptions for 657 yards with seven rushing TDs. Defensively he had 42 tackles, one forced fumble, 10 pass breakups and three interceptions. One of the picks, along with a kickoff return, he took back to the house.

ASU and Boise State were contacting him the most in addition to Washington State, said Vandenkolk, and he held an offer from UC Davis. Vandenkolk said Washington State is bringing him in as a wide receiver.

"I first started talking to coach (Rich) Rasmussen..and they were interested in me because I play well on both sides of the ball, on offense and defense. I was actually on their board both ways, either as a safety or wide receiver," said Vandenkolk.

Vandenkolk earned first team all-league honors for his work on offense this season and was named Carlsbad's team MVP.

"The campus was amazing," said Vandenkolk regarding his official visit experience. "I loved it up there. Coach Wulff's presentation on how they're going to change the stadium and make some renovations, it's a place I will love to be playing at in the next few years. The whole coaching staff was a big plus, they made me want to say 'Washington State is the place for me.' They were all really great.

"I told the coaches I'm going to do everything I can to contribute as fast as possible to WSU. I'm so excited to be there, and they know it."

Michael Vandenkolk profile

  • Vandenkolk was named the USA Today Top Performer and North County Times Athlete of the Week the week of 11/2/2007 after he hauled in 16 receptions for 197 yard and two TDs.

  • He was named on 10/19/2007 the KOTC-TV Player of the Game (2 TDs). He also had 95 yards in kickoff returns, 4 tackles, 2 pass defections and 1 INT. All told, Vandenkolk was four times in 2007 named the Player of the Game (KBC Sports, SD Channel 4, and KOTC-TV)

  • Also a star in the classroom, he earned the Scholar Athlete Award the past three years, and was named to the San Diego Union-Tribune All Academic Team and National Honor Roll.

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